How to Pick Your Own Raspberries
at Plow Creek Farm
in Tiskilwa, Illinois

raspberries ready to pick

Picking your own raspberries has its benefits, but also its responsibilities.

You have fun and the pleasure of getting your own food. You can be outside with family or friends. It is educational for those who have not picked their own berries before. You do the quality control, making sure the raspberries are not moldy, overripe or underripe. And picking your own raspberries costs significantly less.

We have done a lot of work planting, watering, weeding, and otherwise taking care of the raspberry plants. It is your responsibility to treat them well. Please be careful if you move a cane to not break it.

picking raspberries

How to pick Raspberries

Come when we're open. See our Red Raspberry News page for the current schedule.

Enter at our Market Barn on Bottom Road (see location page) Go ahead to the " ENTER" sign and park. Picking supplies are at our white trailer. Pick up a picking bucket. Raspberries are tender, so it is best to pick them directly into pint baskets, which we will provide. In most of our picking buckets, you can fit four pint baskets,two on the bottom of the bucket, and two sitting on those first pints crosswise. It will probably have a short rope loop on it to hang on your neck or shoulder.  But it is really more comfortable when the bucket of raspberries starts getting heavier to hang the bucket on a belt. We do have some belts to lend if you don't have one. Some people also tie the bucket to a belt loop.

Usually the raspberry picking will be self-serve. The raspberries are across the driveway from the white trailer. We mark where to start with a white flag on a tall orange pole. Pick starting closest to the driveway and moving east away from the driveway. Please leave the flag in the row where you quit.

Red raspberries are ripe when they are all red or purple. The tip turns color last; if it is green or yellow it is not ready. But you really know if a berry is ripe if it is easy to pick.

To pick a raspberry, hold it gently near the stem. If it doesn't come off the stem imediately, you can use a gentle rocking motion. If it still does not come off the stem, it is not ready to pick; go for another berry. (If you really must have that berry, please grab the stem with your other hand so you don't pull a cluster of unripe berries off.) You can gently hold a half dozen or so raspberries in your hand; then put them into your pint basket.
Look for low branches; some raspberry canes hang down to the ground when they are full of berries. In some rows, you find a lot more berries by putting your head a foot off the ground in the middle of the bush.

Sometimes raspberry picking is hot work. Some like a broad brimmed hat. Please drink plenty of water; we don't want to have to call an ambulance for you.

Please don't cross through a row unless there is a big gap.  It is easy to break small branches or canes.

Raspberries are $3.00 a pint (or $2.50 per pint for 10 or more). We accept cash or checks. (Sorry, no credit cards.) Please bring your own container to bring your pints of raspberries home in, or we will have some plastic bags available.

See also Red Raspberry Overview, Red Raspberry Pictures and Red Raspberry News

Other Pick Your Own crops include:
    Strawberries, Blackberries and Blueberries.

To get to our raspberry field, enter at the Market Barn and go about 100 yards south. Park in the grassy area to the west (on your right) entering between the two white poles.

For schedule and availability of strawberries and other crops, visit our Crop Calendar or Farm Headlines page, which is updated daily during harvest season.


Before you come,
 check our
Daily Update
to be sure we
are open.

"The best berries are the ones you pick yourself."

Some people say "pick your own" (PYO), "Pick it yourself" or "self-pick"; others say "You-Pick" which is written "U-pick", "U-pik" or even "U-pic", but any which way, it is a fun and economical way to get the fresh blueberries you want.

Bring the family or the gang. Children are very welcome -- even if they eat more than they put in their containers.

Plow Creek Farm is located near Tiskilwa, IL
(Bureau County), about 8 miles south of Princeton.